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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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citizens, but former inhabitants of France and Belgium., in an effort to
gain British citizenship, had asked to be transferred into the British Army,
and, when their request was refused, had deserted.*
Without enlargement, it is worth pointing out that this anti-Semitic
charge was levelled against a Government which included, not only a
Jewish Cabinet Minister (not for the first time in history), but also four
other Jews among the twelve higher officials who were employed in the
Ministry predestined to express and form the opinion of the people,
namely, the Ministry of Information. In addition to this, the editors of
both its newspapers were Jews.f The Commanders of the Army Corps
and Divisions in Poland were Jews. The role which the Poles played in
securing their Jewish population against German prosecution was well-
known, and if any Jews remained alive in Poland, it was because they were
hidden from their oppressors by the Polish population.
Nevertheless, an extensive Press campaign, charging the Polish Govern-
ment and the Army with anti-Semitism, was begun in Britain. Several
of those twenty-three M.P.s who had opposed the Anti-Strike Bill when
Britain's war effort had been endangered by strikes, which, according to
Bevin, the Minister of Labour3 " could stop the work of three million
people," made numerous interjections in the House of Commons on the 
subject of this supposed anti-Jewish crime of the Poles.
The organiser of this anti-Polish campaign was never mentioned in
the British Press, but Moscow radio had taken such an active participation
in the entire affair, that there seemed no need for further indication on
this matter.
There was great fear among the Poles that, as the Red Army marched
into Poland, the Underground organisations who revealed themselves
might well be exposed to Soviet repression, and the lack of agreement
existing between Moscow and the Polish Government would appear in
all its stark gravity. There could only be supposition as to how the
Russians would react, and with Soviet domination in Poland still fresh in
the memory, these suppositions could not be too bright. The Polish
Government, urged by London to give the order for their countrymen to
* McGovern, House of Commons, May 25th3     said :
** Polish Jewish soldiers came to London to have a showdown, and to demand
that they should be transferred to the British Forces. Many people in this House
and the country are aware that the Communist Party in this country had a hand in
that. I am told on very good authority that they paid the fares of the men to come
to London, because it was part of their instruction to work for the denunciation
of the Polish Government in London."
f There appears to be no greater expert and authority on Jewish affairs in
England than Dr. Hertz, the chief Rabbi of the British Empire who, in his speech
of June 18th, 1943, thus pictured the situation of the Jews in Poland :
" That, as long as Poland was powerful. Polish Jewry enjoyed an inner autonomy
and freedom equalled by no other contemporary Jewry. Furthermore, it cannot
be too often repeated that to Poland belongs the priority among European
peoples in religious and cultural toleration."                                            f